Kellsi Kloss Photo by Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, IL (July 14, 2016) – The Bandits used a trio of pitchers and depth hitting to beat the Scrap Yard Dawgs 4-1 Thursday night at The Ballpark at Rosemont.
Sara Moulton got the start for the Bandits, but relief pitcher Shelby Turnier (W, 3-3) picked up the win with three innings of solid work out of the bullpen. Michelle Gascoigne closed out the game with 1.2 innings of work to earn her third save of the season.
Turnier said coach Mike Steuerwald and the pitching staff have defined their roles, with a goal of each pitcher getting through the lineup at least once.
“When Moulton got into a jam, I picked her up and when I got into a jam, (Gascoigne) was able to pick me up,” Turnier said. “When it was time to make a pitching change, (Steuerwald) did and to be able to pass the baton to the next pitcher is awesome.”
The Dawgs (17-13) got out to a quick lead, scoring a run in the first frame with doubles from right fielder Emilee Koerner (2-for-3, R, 2B, BB) and third baseman Amanda Fama (1-for-3, RBI, 2B).
The Bandits (13-17) were quick to respond, scoring three runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning. A hit by pitch followed by two straight singles loaded the bases with no outs for third baseman Megan Blank (2-for-3, 2 RBI, R), who sent a two-RBI single to right field. A walk loaded the bases again, this time for catcher Kellsi Kloss (1-for-2, 2 RBI, SF), who added the third run of the inning via a sacrifice fly.
The Dawgs threatened to answer right back in the third, getting back-to-back hits from Koerner and second baseman Nerissa Myers (2-for-3, 2 2B) with one out. Myers’ double chased Moulton from the game, but Turnier worked out of the one-out, runners at second and third jam with six pitches – inducing a fly out and groundout.
Moulton finished the game with one run allowed on five hits in 2.1 innings, while striking out one batter.
The Bandits tacked on an insurance run in the fourth and threatened to extend their lead further. Back-to-back hits from Blank and right fielder Kristen Brown (1-for-2, 2B, BB) put runners on second and third with no outs and chased Dawgs’ starter Rachel Fox (L, 2-3) from the game.
Turnier said offensive depth is a strength of the team this season.
“When we show up to the field every day, we have no idea what the lineup is going to be,” she said. “Everyone is fighting for their spot and fighting for our team and if your name gets called, you have to be ready that day and we definitely were (tonight).”
Blank and Kloss, who had combined for 14 hits and 11 RBI entering Thursday’s game, provided depth scoring for the team by driving in all four runs.
Ellen Renfroe Reed came in as a reliever and allowed an RBI-single to Kloss, giving the Bandits a three-run cushion. Heads-up defense from third baseman Fama got Renfroe Reed and the Dawgs out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam as she caught a line drive and threw to first to double-up the runner.
Turnier worked herself out of another two-out jam in the fifth after a Myers double advanced Koerner – who drew a two-out walk earlier in the inning – to third, but Turnier got Fama to flyout, ending the inning. Before the Koerner walk, Turnier had sat down the first seven Dawgs she faced.
“I was trying to work both corners of the plate,” Turnier said. “Any time you can come in as a pitcher with a lead on defense allows you to relax and trust your pitches. If you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world because your team has your back and there’s runs on the board.”
Gascoigne (SV, 3) relieved Turnier, who finished with two hits and one walk while striking out a pair. She entered in the sixth and worked 1.2 scoreless frames to collect her third save of the season, striking out four batters in the process.
The Bandits leave The Ballpark at Rosemont for their first away games of July when they travel to the ESPN Wide World of Sports for a three-game series against the league-leading USSSA Pride.
Tickets for all remaining home games during the 2016 season are on sale now. Visit www.chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348 to order.
Gosling's Rum Recap Notes:
• The Bandits are now 6-14 when the opponent scores first and the Dawgs are now 12-3 when they score first.
• Danielle Zymkowitz extended her hitting streak to a team-high eight games with a second inning single.
• Megan Blank is now on a six-game hit streak and is 10-for-18 with six RBI, two runs and three doubles in that span.
• After a three-run second inning on Thursday, the Bandits are now outscoring opponents 25-7 in the second inning this season.
• Tonight’s attendance was 960, the first home game since June 19 with an attendance below 1,000.
• Blank now has three multi-hit and three multi-RBI games this season.
• Kellsi Kloss recorded her third hit of the season on Thursday and her first since June 17. Kloss also doubled her RBI total with two tonight. Her first two came in her NPF debut on June 10 thanks to a two-run home run.
About the Scrap Yard Dawgs:
The Scrap Yard Dawgs will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About the Chicago Bandits:
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson, Emily Allard and Tammy Williams. The three-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team. The 2016 season will be the Bandits 12th season in the NPF.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.